The Power of Strategic Alliances

Could You Be Overlooking this Business Accelerator?

Strategic alliances. When the term “strategic alliance” is mentioned, most people think of two or more businesses pursuing common goals. A strategic alliance is typically a non-legal but formalized agreement to work together where both entities remain independent. We’ve all seen it. For example, Starbucks partnered with Barnes & Noble in 1993, forming a highly successful strategic alliance that is now taken for granted.  Uber and Spotify partnered last year to offer a customized music listening experience for passengers during an Uber ride.

What does this type of alliance have to do with your career or business?

Think of it this way: Strategic alliances are formed by businesses when there is a shared sense of values and objectives, as well as an opportunity to share resources in a way that boosts the bottom line of both. Each has something the other values and deems important to achieving long-term goals. The alliance provides a competitive advantage and typically allows opportunities to market to one another’s customers.

strategic alliancesWith a little thought and planning, all of these elements can be applied to boosting your career, team, or company. Where to begin?

This month, I will review the key aspects of strategic alliance building with the goal of delivering insights and resources you can use now and in the future. This week I will review some rules of engagement to help you determine whether or not seeking a strategic alliance now makes sense for your business or career.

Before you approach a potential strategic alliance, establish clear goals and measurable outcomes. Are you looking for shared talent resources? Need to co-office or store inventory temporarily? Do you need a high level of software development expertise during the early phases of developing a new product? Who are natural strategic alliances for you? Get a clear picture of what you need and the benefits you offer before approaching the team down the hall or the company across town.

The next step is checking the reputation, integrity, and business acumen of potential strategic alliances. Can you trust them to keep their word and respect confidentiality? Do they embrace innovation and invention?

Finally, make sure you have the authority to take action on your ideas, or find a champion to bring your ideas to fruition. Take care to outline what each alliance partner is contributing and how success will be measured. Regular and open communication is a must. Interim check-ins and frequent milestones are critical to keeping things on track.

When a strategic alliance is fostered with creativity and care, it can accelerate your career accomplishments. It’s not only productive for companies and organizations; it’s also a powerful way to fast-track your career.

Have you formed a productive strategic alliance in your career or business?

Do you have a question to pose regarding an idea for a strategic alliance?

Share your story, or pose your strategic alliance question via email.  Email us at with the subject line: Strategic Alliance Success. (We will keep all individual and company information confidential)